the healing muse

Volume 11, 2011

Silence Over Coffee

Angela M. Giles Patel

If instead,
I told you I had a cancer
would you still sit,
biding your time,
waiting for me to heal?
Would life carry on
in your view of us
as each day my body
was divided, conquered,
one weakened cell after another?

If instead,
I could show you spots
or unnatural shadows
on an X-ray film and say
            here and here and here
            that is where it is,
            that is where I am slowly dying,
would you still simply
pat me on the head
and say “Now, now”?

But I can’t
fix my trembling finger
on a single point to tell you
            this is where it hurts
and it’s not my fault
I’ve no black and white image
to prove
I’m being devoured slowly,
painfully being consumed
by my dis-ease.

And while what you say
may be true,
that “this too shall pass,”
any remission just means dormancy.
I must tell you
the fiercest storms
gather strength while resting
and nature’s cycles
prey on weakness,
they are meant to destroy first
and then, perhaps, rebuild.

For now we both sit
quietly sipping our morning coffee
you burdened
by my malaise
my dis-order,
me alone,

waiting, hoping for relief.

Back to Volume 11, Table of Contents

Upcoming Events


Accepted annually September 1 through May 1.